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  • Provenance

    Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan

  • Literature

    Arnaldo Pomodoro, Catalogo ragionato della scultura, Vol. II, Milan, 2007, p. 769, no. 1047 (illustrated)  

  • Catalogue Essay

    "The concerns of my work as an artist have always centred on the relationship between the individual sculpture and the space in which it is sited. A sculpture, indeed, is the realization of a space of its own within the greater space in which it lives and moves. When a work transforms the place in which it is located, it takes on the valence of a true and proper witness of the times that spawned it,and thus places a mark on its context, enriching it with additional layers of memory. Today I think of my sculptures as crystals, ornuclei, or as eyes, or signal fires; and I see them as relating to borders and voyages, to the worlds of complexity and imagination." (Artist statement, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 2008)
    Half mechanical, half organic, Arnaldo Pomodoro's captivating sculptures hover between the realms of figuration and abstraction.Their burst-open forms could be the crystalline by-product of some strange reaction, a form of erosion, or the complex technological workings of a futuristic computer. Highly influenced, like his compatriot Lucio Fontana, by the space race – with its Sputnik satellites and images of the moon – Pomodoro has steadfastly dedicated a half century of artistic production to representing modernity. Sfera con sfera (Sphere within sphere) belongs to his Sfera (Sphere) series, begun in the early 1960s. His most acclaimed body of work, spheres allowed Pomodoro to explore the sculptural qualities of the primary geometric forms, an exercise he replicated with columns, pyramids, discs and cubes. Often executed on the largest of scales as outdoor sculptures, many are now exhibited permanently in some of the world's most prominent public spaces, such as at the plaza of the United Nations Building in New York.
    Pomodoro’s ruptured forms carry the emotional weight of Abstract Expressionist canvases, and are declarations of the same artistic freedom to liberate art from its formal constraints; if Jackson Pollock reinvented painting and the role of the painter, then Arnaldo Pomodoro reinvented sculpture and the role of the sculptor. The sheen of the gleaming, golden globe that makes up the outer form of the Sfera may reference Brancusi, but its insides, shredded with laser-like precision, are the remnants of the violent gestures of the artist. Pomodoro himself talks of this influence and how to overcome it: “The perfection of form in Brancusi was so beautiful and mysterious: what can one do after Brancusi, or after Arp? Then at a certain moment I said to myself, really this perfection of the form in our time is inappropriate; it has to be destroyed. For me the ‘destruction’ element was my most important discovery, and the most authentic both in terms of myself and my times” (Arnaldo Pomodoro, quoted in Sam Hunter, Arnaldo Pomodoro, New York, 1982, p. 52).
    Pomodoro has always insisted that the erosions or lacerations found in his work should be read as a form of writing. Having taught throughout Northern California during the 1960s, he was influenced by writers of the Beat Generation such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, with whom the artist was well acquainted. The marks left upon what was originally a pristine, shining surface are Pomodoro’s form of writing, a lyrical calligraphy which speaks directly of his creative processes. Once completed, Pomodoro’s spheres become an exploration of negative space with light allowed to pass through and fill the intricate shapes which the artist has etched out. As in the work of his peer Yves Klein, voids in the bronze become as important as – if not more important than – the remaining bronze. These gaps in the medium allow the viewer to enter an alternate world, one in which mysticism and the machine age are harmoniously combined.


Sfera con sfera (Sphere within sphere)

Bronze with gold patina.
Diameter: 50 cm (19 3/4 in).
This work is from edition of eight and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist. This work is registered in the Archivio Arnaldo Pomodoro, under number 776.  

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £265,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

29 June 2010